The event took place August 29 and was free and open to the public. It was a day of prayer meant to bless children in attendance and ask God’s favor in their lives and in the lives of their parents.It was just one of many community events organized by the Takoma Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, MD at the corner of Eastern and Carol Avenue, inspired by their 2015 ‘Year of Serving’ which began as an initiative to show love in action and to combat recent waves of community violence.
Naudrey Jenkins, Family Life Director of the church, started the event by welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming, then introducing members of her team who worked with senior Pastor Henry Wright to help put the event together for the community.A group prayer led by Senior Pastor Henry Wright, Pastors Fred Warfield, Jeff Taylor, and Mike Faizon asked God to protect children as they went back to school, as well as protect parents at their jobs.
Pastor Wright prayed for special protection of each family, and asked parents to place trust in God to protect their children.Prayers of dedication were also given by Pastors Warfield, Taylor, and Faizon for children and their parents. Pastor Wright spoke on the subject of the recent shooting of two television reporters in Virginia. After saying prayer for the victims and their families, Pastor Wright encouraged everyone to truly get in the spirit of the community by fostering connections instead of violence.
“With all the negativity in the media and so much violence toward children and young people, it’s time the community try something different because our children’s lives do matter,” said Jenkins. “As a church, we want to show love in action the way that Jesus did while he was on earth.”
The crowd sang several child-friendly songs and engaged with their children in a meaningful way. Anwar Ottley, the church’s minister of music, led songs such as “Deep and Wide”, and other crowd favorites. All children in attendance were given several gifts. Children received the “Steps to Christ” book, healthy snacks and beverages, and a special gift certificate for the Living Well store in the amount of five dollars.
The Takoma Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church is part of the Potomac Conference of the North American Division of Seventh-Day Adventists. “Our invitation was extended to anyone wishing to attend,” said Pastor Wright. “Everyone was welcome.”